Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Death and Life: Resting In Peace (In Memory of Michael Joseph Jackson)

When the King of Pop, Michael Joseph Jackson died I shed a tear; in fact I felt a great deal of unexpected emotion. Now, let me just put things in perspective. I have no problem crying and at times I like to cry. I’ve felt a sensual cleansing of my soul and mind as I sobbed my way through brokenness, sniffled, snotted and whimpered at Feed the Children commercials, injustices and death with no shame. But somehow, it struck me strangely that after I boohooed at CNN’s online reporting, I still felt a certain discontentment with Michael’s death. Certainly, I believe that there is a place for our souls after death and that our souls are eternally alive, and whether our resting place is indeed a place of rest is determined by One and not me. So, for me, my hope concerning death is that my final resting place will be in the presence of One so glorious and good, My Lord, My Savior, My Father and Friend. Death is not a tragedy when one believes that there something more to encounter beyond this present life. Death in and of itself does not scare me. But when Michael died, I considered dying… not suicide, but I took time to think about death as apart of life.

I think the scariest part of death is the finality of it. Whether or not, you believe that there is life after death, it is still the last part of what we know in this realm. I can’t imagine that my human life experience with all its many turns & twist will end in death without ever living again. It would seem an injustice. As much there is darkness in the world there is still incredible light. I’ve experienced true love, the warm & fuzzies, the cold and smell of the rain, the warmth of the sun, and beauty of the stars. I’ve stood in awe of the miraculous and witnessed life being born. There are so many wonderful memories I can recollect, that I hope will never be lost in a pile of dirt.

I remember being about 5 and hearing PYT for the first time. Me and my two boy cousins would sport our Member’s Only Jackets (didn’t have the red & black Thriller one) and pretend to be Michael. We grew up on Michael. He is apart of our American culture and an International Superstar. My children, ages 8, 6 and 2 have discovered the music and spirit of Michael Jackson. And the brother is still Bad! My kids love him! It occurred to me that though his music will continue to be heard, his life has ended. The tragedy for me is how young he was, and how young we still are. Even my mom, is young at 51 and she grew up on Michael Jackson. I think his death, reminded us all of our mortality, it certainly did me.

Michael was common and extraordinary all at once. He was a man like all of us but extraordinary in his ability to sing, dance and perform. His gift was magic to us all. And for the brief moment that he spent on this earth we were all touched by the light that shined in him. How terrible it seems if with all the talent he possessed to entertain; and all the charitable contributions he made, that he still did not find peace for himself. He may have reigned in the earth as the King of Pop, but he didn’t appear to reign in his personal life. I’m not talking about the controversies. I’m talking about just being able to sleep at night. How many of us can say, we have lain awake in our beds thinking and re-thinking our past? Our pain? Our circumstance? Unable to close our eyes and find rest. Too many of us I think.

Lately, I have been weeping a lot. More than usual. I have felt very sober minded. I feel a sense of great tragedy and death at the door. Not at my door, but in the earth.

I recall hearing of the Air France flight that mysteriously crashed in the middle of the Atlantic. And later, hearing of a woman who was bound for the flight and missed it; only to be killed in a car crash days later. It struck me as an odd event, like death was looking for her. And sadly, found her.

I won’t mince words because I feel like I’m not cool enough to sound cool saying it, but we are living in the last days of this time. I do not mean that as a threat or an insult to anyone’s intelligence, but the world is changing. We are not living in our parents’ world or generation. Life can be a string of unexpected events. And one event can be the one that changes everything as you know it. I hope that for those of you who are reading this that tragedy and even death will be far from you. I pray that God will protect you and keep you safe from all dangers. And that if you believe, in Christ at all that He will reign in your heart and mind, so that you will have eternal life.

May the peace of God guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. And may you discover what you were created to do, and do to the fullest of your ability!

Be blessed in every way,


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